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Property prices in Brussels increase despite crisis

© Belga

The number of real estate transactions fell by 4.8% in Brussels Region in 2020 due to the coronavirus crisis, however prices surprisingly increased in all the communes, according to a notary analysis.

Last year, the median price of a residential house (which represents around 37% of residential real estate in the region) stood at 440,000 euros in Brussels, an increase of 7.3% compared to 2019.

In absolute value, this price change corresponds to an average increase of 30,000 euros.

According to the latest emerging trend real estate report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a “ton of capital” is floating in the market.

The European Central Bank keeps loaning money at historic lows; the refinancing rate is at 0% and its deposit rate at negative (-) 0.5%, to encourage banks to lend money rather than to hold onto it.

“The fundamental difference between the crisis we’re going through now and the global financial crisis in 2008 is the speed with which the central banks and governments reacted to this crisis which has meant that there has not been any real crisis in terms of liquidity or within the banking markets,” a property investment manager explained.

Although industry analysts know that “something has changed in a significant way,” and “certain sectors face serious challenges to income security because of the pandemic,” real estate generally is seen as one of the few asset classes to generate acceptable returns at a time of low and even negative interest rates.

17.3% increase over a period of five years

The median price of a house is lowest in the north and north-west of the Brussels Region, with the exception of Laeken, while the cheapest houses are located in the west, especially in the municipalities of Molenbeek and Anderlecht.

The most expensive municipalities in the region are Uccle, Etterbeek and Ixelles. The average house price is around 300,000 euros in Molenbeek and 630,000 euros in Uccle.

Over a period of five years, house prices have increased by 17.3% in Brussels.

Apartments also saw prices increase in 2020: +8.7% in Brussels to 242,500 euros. Nationally apartment prices saw an 8.5% average increase.

The municipality of Anderlecht has the lowest median price (186,000 euros), while in Ixelles it reaches 331,300 euros.

The Brussels Times